J. Nathan Matias     MIT Media Lab

I collaborate on technology, research, and communities which empower people to become more creative, more effective, and more informed. I'm a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media and an affiliate at the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard.

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Syntagmatic Browser

Dec 2006

J. Nathan Matias creator
Syntagmatic Browser demo screenshot

While studying the language of Shakespeare in my first year of postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge, I envisioned "The Syntagmatic Browser." Drawing from the theories of Saussure, this new kind of thesaurus visualisation would create associations among the contexts of words rather than the words themselves.

Although I developed a prototype in GZigZag, I never built the software. I really ought to someday. It would be a fantastic utility for lexicographers and literary scholars.

It wasn't until much later that I came across Statistical Natural Language Processing in my roles at Texperts, Dressipi, and TouchType.